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ASK A COP: I Smoked Weed in High School. Can I Still Become a Cop?

Maybe.

Here are Santa Cruz Police Department's standards


 A. The following types of illegal drug use or possession will be considered automatic disqualifiers in the pre-employment selection process for non-sworn police personnel, with no exceptions:

1. Any adult use or possession of a drug classified as a hallucinogenic within seven (7) years prior to application for employment.

2. Any adult use or possession of marijuana within one (1) year prior to application for employment.

3. Any other illegal adult use or possession of a drug not mentioned above (including cocaine) within three (3) years prior to application for employment.

4. Any illegal adult use or possession of a drug while employed in the capacity of a police officer, licensed security officer, military police, or as a student enrolled in college accredited courses of/or related to the criminal justice field.

5. Any adult manufacture or cultivation of a drug.

6. Failure to divulge to the Police Department during the background investigation any information about personal illegal use or possession of drugs.

B. The disqualification of a police officer candidate for the following types of illegal drug use or possession will be considered in relationship to the overall background of that individual:

1. Any illegal juvenile use or possession of a drug.

2. Any illegal adult use or possession of a drug that does not meet the criteria of the automatic disqualifiers specified above; e.g., marijuana use longer than one (1) year ago or cocaine use longer than three (3) years ago.

C. All information obtained during a background investigation is confidential and will not be released to candidates or others.

David Jay Brown February 04, 2013 at 10:35 PM
As a patriotic, law-abiding, tax-paying citizen, I strongly disagree with these qualifications for becoming a police officer. Scientific studies demonstrate that these qualifications are actually making our police force less healthy, less intelligent, and less socially well-adjusted, as well as more apt to blindly obey authority, and to not think for themselves. A Berkeley University study showed that high school students who smoke moderate amounts of marijuana are more socially well-adjusted than students who smoke regularly, or students who don't smoke at all. A Stanford study demonstrated that around 75% of people will blindly follow an authority figure, even if they know it is seriously effecting someone's health.
David Jay Brown February 04, 2013 at 10:48 PM
Scientific studies demonstrate that LSD, when taken a few times in a therapeutic setting, can significantly raise I.Q. scores. And not only do numerous scientific studies demonstrate the medical benefits of marijuana, but we have a state law in place that police officers are pledged to protect. And the law should also protect police officers who have a physician's recommendation to use medical cannabis! The California state Constitution clearly states that when federal and state law contradict one another, then agents of the state must follow state law. Police are not federal agents; they're agents of the state, and they're supposed to be protecting us with our tax money, not arresting us! Not to mention that, according to recent Gallop poll, a majority of Americans believe that cannabis should be legal, and our representatives in Washington are out of touch with what American want. Please bring these legal, scientific, and medical facts up at your next staff meeting!
David Jay Brown February 05, 2013 at 02:45 AM
Great comment, Jim. It seems like this system is designed to only allow either dishonest or socially maladjusted people into the Police Academy.
Brad Kava February 05, 2013 at 07:17 AM
I think they should worry about alcohol, especially.
Sandyo1 February 05, 2013 at 03:43 PM
The consumption of alcohol should also be included as well as a banned substance then, and drinking on duty or having any alcohol related issues, prior arrests, fights etc. should also be part of the hiring/firing procedures .This drug is one of the most serious in terms of abuse and poor judgement and limiting motor abilities. Let us be consistent, and be sure the officers are not under any influences. Sandyo

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